Derrick Gould reported yesterday the Cardinals have not picked up Mark Mulder's option for the 2009 season, instead bought out his contract for $1.5 mil. I don't think this comes as surprise to anyone, including Mark Mulder. The article stated Mark's still working out at his home trying to rehabilitate his arm, but I don't think anyone's going to come calling.
We also found out yesterday that the Cardinals probably aren't really in the Jake Peavy sweepstakes, based on Bernie Micklasz's article (which referenced a SD Union Tribune article by Tim Sullivan). That, I think, is unfortunate, but in some ways understandable. If they really, really believe that Colby Rasmus will be the franchise's CF for the next 15 years, then trading him to San Diego for 5 years of Jake Peavy might not be worth it. And if the Padres won't even start negotiations if the proposal doesn't include Rasmus, then perhaps it's DOA. But boy wouldn't a rotation of Peavy/Carpenter/Wainwright/Lohse/Wellemeyer be fun?
Some belated comments/thoughts about Game 7 of the ALCS:
- You realize no Florida-based ML team has ever lost a post-season series?
- The Jon Lester that pitched the first 3 innings of Game 7 is the Lester I thought would show up for Game 3.
- I knew Matt Garza was good, but I didn't think he was good enough to 2-hit the Red Sox for 7 innings.
- In the crazy eighth, Pedroia JUST MISSED hitting a 3-run HR. And he knew it, judging from his reaction in the dugout after the at bat.
- This is the first time a Wild Card winner won't be in the world series since the Mets/Yankees series (as we mentioned before).
Of course, the 'this sucks, no one's going to watch this series' articles have started appearing (here's one on sportsline.com). No big media market involved. No 'As The World Turns' drama with Manny. No end the curse stuff with the Cubs. Boo frigging hoo.
I'm sure the fans in Philadelphia and Tampa will be respectfully apologetic they're in the WS. If asked, I'll bet the teams will defer to Chicago and Boston to give Fox the matchup they really wanted.
What you will get, however, is some excellent baseball. Lots of young pitchers, good hitters, and solid defense in this series. For the baseball fan, this will be a great series. In fact, I don't think the Rays are that overwhelming a team when compared to the Phillies. I think this series will be competitive and a lot better than expected. I also think it will be the first series since 2003 to see a Game 6 at least.
Should be fun.
One more interesting little tidbit. Jimmy Rollins recently said he wanted to change the culture of losing in Philadelphia when he got there. The Phillies have been around for 126 years. If he'd played during the first 98 years, there'd have been a culture of losing needing fixing; after all, the Phillies won exactly 2 NL championships in those 98 years (1915 and 1950). However, starting in 1980, guess who the teams are to have appeared in the World Series more than twice?
AL - NY Yankees (7 - 1981, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003), Boston (3 - 1986, 2004, 2007)
NL - St Louis (5 - 1982, 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006), Atlanta (5 - 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999), Philadelphia (4 - 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008).
The Phillies have been to twice as many World Series in the last 28 years than in the first 98. I think the culture has already changed, and that change started with Michael Jack Schmidt and those great Philly teams in the 1970s. For what it's worth.
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